An Old Town Fishing Kayak’s Alternative to Paddle Power: The Sportsman PDL 106

An Old Town Fishing Kayak’s Alternative to Paddle Power: The Sportsman PDL 106

Posted by Forrest on Feb 19th 2024

It’s nearly spring, which means if you really want to free yourself from the restrictions of bank bound anglers, you might want to think seriously about putting whatever Christmas money you have left over into a new fishing kayak.

Specifically, an Old Town fishing kayak, the Sportsman PDL 106, which will also free you from the limitations of paddle power that bind most other kayaks.

The Limitations of Paddle Power

There is one very good thing about paddle-driven fishing kayaks. When it comes to shallow water access, especially in weed choked waterways, they go where nothing else can.

But once you start dealing with wind, currents, and big open water, forget it. You can still paddle, but the shortcomings of paddle power throw themselves into glaring relief.

For one, paddle power is relatively inefficient compared to modern alternatives like pedal power that will be explored in greater detail shortly. 

Beyond that, paddling chews up your hands - both of them. If that weren’t bad enough, being required to paddle is energy-inefficient and will tire out your upper body quickly.

Also, most paddle-powered kayaks are not engineered for speed, especially fishing kayaks. They are, by and large, engineered for capacity and stability, making it cumbersome (at best) to paddle them.

Should you bring along a paddle as a backup? For sure, but there are other ways that are better - and the Old Town fishing kayak we’re going to explore here, the Sportsman PDL 106 - makes the most of them.

Pedal Over Paddle

                      Old Town fishing kayak

The main feature of this Old Town fishing kayak that makes it superior to most paddle-driven models is Old Town’s PDL Drive system.

This award-winning pedal drive unit can be remove for easy transportation and offers excellent control and handling.

It is easy to install and remove, and features an “easy docking system” that allows for pain-free launching, landing, and docking.

But on top of that, this system enables hands-free control when navigating waterways, and is energy-efficient, empowering you to battle waves, currents, wind, and wide open water.

This system will go with you in freshwater and saltwater, on rivers, lakes, bays, ponds and oceans alike, no matter what your target species is.

It’s also powerful and delivers painless forward and backwards control - simply pedal in forward or reverse to propel the craft - no switching or cables to worry about, as there are in some other pedal drive systems.

Last but not least, the PDL system is also easy to maintain. Simply rinse off thoroughly between each use and allow to dry. Making propeller swaps and tightening the rudder cord are both simple operations, too.

Beyond Pedal Power

While the Sportsman PDL 106 offers plenty of advantages over paddle power thanks to its award-winning pedal drive system, the benefits and features don’t end there.

For one - and though this is not a feature unique to this Old Town fishing kayak, or even among fishing kayaks - the PDL 106 is more than stable enough for you to stand and fish in.

That’s a bonus for sight casting and fly casting, but it’s also just a nice feature to have if you need to stretch your legs and back during a long day on the water.

The design of the hull also offers numerous benefits. Old Town calls it a DoubleU Hull - what you need to know is that it tracks beautifully, even in less than ideal conditions. That helps you get more from the pedal power, too.

When it comes to space and a gear-friendly, optimized design, the PDL 106 is another winner. It comes with two 18” tracks on the forward hull that allow for effortless accessorization and plenty of flexibility.

It also sports three flush-mounted rod holders that keep your rods within easy reach. Two are rear-facing (perfect for trolling) and one is forward facing, making it easy to organize your outfits, especially if you prefer to fish several pre-rigged rods at once.

On top of that, there is a large rear tie-down area right behind the seat, which is ideal for coolers and tackle boxes (or whatever other gear you bring) in addition to a dedicated dry storage area in the bow, sealed by a hatch.

                  Old Town fishing kayak

With all of that being said, the PDL 106 is still designed for best-in-class comfort, with a superior seat design that offers excellent comfort and adjustability. It’s also made with mesh and is ventilated so it will keep you cool and dry on hot, muggy days.

In addition, the deck in front of the seating is outfitted with comfortable, non-slip EVA foam deck pads that offer superior traction, even in adverse conditions - much needed if you’re ever in a slight chop but still need to be able to stand.

This only scratches the surface of the features and benefits offered by this Old Town fishing kayak. Either way, whether it’s for you or not, our experts will help you get to the bottom of it. If you still have questions before buying, get in touch with us at 512-229-0560 and let us know how we can help. We’ll find the perfect fishing kayak for you, regardless of where you fish or the species you target.